Life's Ride!

En veetu

For my people will live as long as trees...For they are people blessed by the Lord,and their children too, will be blessed. I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs,I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Isaiah 65:22-24

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pistachio nankatai

Pistachio nankatai
I had done this recipe a long time back ! The recipe is from here. Thank you Apolina for sharing the recipe:) I just sprinkled some chopped pistachios & saffron strands on the cookies. But i think the next time i repeat this recipe, i will heat the saffron strands in the ghee & then add the saffron infused ghee to the dough to have a more pronounced saffron flavour.

All purpose flour - 2 cups, ghee - 1 cup, powdered sugar ( Just powder normal sugar)- 1 cup, besan or semolina - 2 tbsps, cardamom pwd - 3/4 tsp, baking pwd - 1/2 tsp, salt - 2 pinches, chopped pistachios - 3 tbsps, saffron strands - a generous pinch.

Preheat the oven to 180°. Mix the ghee & sugar in a bowl.Add the flour, cardamom pwd ,baking pwd & salt. Mix the dough using your fingers till it comes around to form a ball & continue kneading the dough for a few mins. Make nut sized balls & place on a parchment lined baking tray. Flatten the balls a little & sprinkle each nankathai with some nuts & saffron strands. Press the nuts lightly , so that they stay firmly in place. Bake for 10 to 12 mins. Allow the cookies to completely cool down before removing it from the tray. The nankathais will be slightly golden in colour & will have a cracked top like the brownies! Though mine didn't have that many cracks:)

Enjoy these nankathais with a cup of hot tea!:)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kerala minced beef & potato curry

Kerala minced beef & potato curry
This is another recipe that i had tried out today from Lathika George's cookbook. The Poor eater liked it a lot :) It tasted great with rotis & was a little bit different in taste, when compared to my usual minced meat recipe. I think i will repeat this recipe, when Baby 'N' comes visiting, not that baby 'N' is going to eat it, but i think my thambua & sil will like this recipe!;) This recipe has been bookmarked, since the Poor eater liked it a lot:) I had scaled down the recipe to just 200 gms of minced meat & had also reduced the spices & herbs accordingly. But i added the juice of a whole lemon since i knew that the Poor eater would love the lemony taste . A welcome change from my usual minced meat curry:)


Minced beef - 1/2 kg, large onions - 1, chopped, tomato - 2, chopped, ginger - 1 tsp, minced, garlic - 8 cloves - , sliced, coriander pwd - 3 tbsps, chilli pwd - 2 tsps, turmeric pwd - 1 tsp, pepper pwd - 1/2 tsp, cinnamon pwd - 1/2 tsp, clove pwd - 1/2 tsp, cardamom pwd - 1/2 tsp, water - 4 cups, salt - 1 tbsp, lime juice - 1 tsp, finely chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, potatoes ( large) - cut into 1/2 inch cubes, oil - 1/2 cup.


Heat the oil in a pan & add the potatoes & fry till they are golden brown, drain & reserve. In the same oil, add the onions, ginger & garlic & sauté for about 2 mins or until the onions are translucent. Then add the tomatoes & sauté for another 2 mins. Now add the coriander pwd, chilli pwd, turmeric pwd, pepper pwd, cinnamon pwd, clove pwd & cardamom pwd & stir fry over medium heat until the oil leaves the sides of the pan. Add the minced meat, salt & stir fry for a minute until the meat & the masala paste are well combined. Now pour in the water & cover & cook for 10 mins. Then add the fried potatoes & continue cooking until the meat mixture is almost dry. When done , remove from heat & drizzle the lime juce over it & garnish with chopped coriander leaves & serve hot with rice or bread.

Today's 'En veetu samayal' - Kerala minced meat & potatoes curry served with wheat flour rotis.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How to season a manchatti( claypot)!:)

My two precious manchattis!:))

How to season a manchatti ( claypot)!:)

1) Wash the claypot with a few drops of dishwashing liquid & then rinse under running water & blot dry with a kitchen towel.
2) Fill the claypot with rice cooked water( kanji water) & cover & leave overnight.
3) The next day empty the claypot & wash it once again under running water, wipe dry, smear some oil on the insides & also on the outside of the chatti & heat it on medium flame for 2 minutes. Fill the manchatti once again with rice cooked water & cover & leave overnight.
4) Repeat the procedure( ie: step 3) for three more days. The dish must have been soaked in rice starch water( kanji thanni) for four nights!
5) On the fifth day, empty the pot, rinse well under running water , blot dry & start using it for everyday cooking!
This is how i seasoned my two manchattis here, for i received them just before i left India, hence no time to get them seasoned by my family cook over there! One was a gift from my mother & the other one was a gift from my sister!:)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sarshe sardines ( Sardines in mustard gravy - Bengal style)

Sarshe sardines ( Sardines in mustard gravy - Bengal style)
I very rarely buy fresh fish. The only fish that i buy regularly is hake( similar in taste to lady fish /kellanga meen) , which is easily available (whole fish) individually wrapped & cleaned in the freezer sections . One box of frozen hakes will contain atleast 6 to 7 fish , which are more than enough for me. If at all i wanted to eat Indian varieties like pomfret etc, a trip to China town was all that i was needed to do ! Right now it is the sardine season & fresh sardines were on sale. So i picked up some sardines, planning to serve them shallow fried with some dal rice. But fate had willed it otherwise!;) During my bedtime reading ( of cookbooks) , i came across this recipe & was tempted to try it out. Since i was not sure about the taste, i just added 4 sardines to the gravy & shallow fried the rest of them. I had also reduced the mustard to 3 tsps from the 3 tbsps that the original recipe called for. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. It tasted almost like the meen moillee that my mother cooks! The only thing that i will change when i repeat this recipe, is to shallow fry the sardines & then add them to the gravy . A recipe that will be repeated once again in my kitchen as long as the sardines are in season!:)

Ingredients :

Sardines - 4, onion - 1, tomato ( big) - 1, pureed, ginger - 2 inch piece, garlic - 4 cloves, grated coconut ( Used dessicated coconut) - 1 tbsp, coconut milk - 1/2 cup, mustard seeds - 3 ( level ) tsps , poppy seeds - 3 ( level) tsps, chilli pwd - 1 tsp( or more to taste), cumin pwd - 1 tsp, turmeric pwd - 1/4 heaped tsp, chopped coriander leaves for garnishing , juice of one lemon, salt to taste, oil - 3 tbsps, mustard oil - 4 tsps.

Method :

Grind the onion, ginger, garlic, chilli pwd, turmeric pwd, cumin pwd, grated coconut, poppy seeds & mustard seeds to a smooth paste. Heat both the oil in a pan & fry the ground paste, sprinkling a little water if needed over low heat for 10 mins . Add the pureed tomatoes & continue sautéing for another 10 mins until the masala is well cooked. Now pour in a small bowl of water & bring to a boil. Once the gravy starts boiling, add the raw sardines & continue cooking over medium heat until the gravy has thickened to the desired consistency. Remove from heat & stir in the lemon juice, garnish with coriander leaves & serve immediately with some steamed basmati rice.

Today's 'En veetu samayal' - Sarshe sardines & poritha sardines!!;))

Friday, December 3, 2010

Food dehydrator

Food dehydrator
My food dehydrator has arrived!:) Right now my mind is brimming with ideas of what to dry in it:) I have already made a list of the things that i would like to try out first & vadaouvan and home made varthals top the list & then maybe before the summer season ends i would like to dry some blueberries to use in muffins & some healthy dates sugar etc

Have a nice weekend!:)